The Rum Diary (2011) – Bruce Robinson

The problem with The Rum Diary is that it’s all Withnail and no I. The genius of that picture (also directed by The Rum Diary’s Bruce Robinson) is that we got so see a drunk through the eyes of his friend. In The Rum Diary, we’re the drunk. Not as fun. The movie doesn’t create the ups and downs and frenetic energy of that sensation, only the confusion and it gets in the way of what’s happening (a corruption scheme in Puerto Rico). Johnny Depp is our hero but he’s anything but and that would be fine if there was someone we could cling to as we observe him. But where are our options, the corruptĀ RealtorĀ (Aaron Eckhart), the stoned photographer (Michael Rispoli), the tweaking low-life (Giovanni Ribisi), or the overmatched editor (Richard Jenkins)? There’s also a girl (Amber Heard) but the movie is about as interested in her as we are. It’s a miscalculated mess.

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